The French government has awarded four concessions in its first ever tender to develop the country’s offshore wind energy resources.

An EDF-led consortium won three concessions while a group led by Spain’s Iberdrola won one. One further concession that was due to be awarded was deemed unsuccessful and will be included in a second tender round later this year. A consortium led by GDF Suez that placed bids for four of the five developments did not win any.

The awarda represent a major step forward in France’s plans to develop its wind power sector. The developments awarded in this tender round are expected to require investments of €7 billion.

The EDF consortium, known as Eolien Maritime France (EMF), has been awarded the rights to develop almost 1.5 GW of wind power capacity on the Fecamp and Courseulles-sur-Mer sites in the English Channel and the Saint-Nazaire site on the Atlantic coast. Iberdrola’s consortium, known as Alas Marinas, will install 500 MW of capacity off the Brittany coast.

At the Saint-Brieuc wind farm site, Iberdrola will install 100 Areva wind turbines. The company says it believes that the site is one of the best in the world for wind farm development.

The EMF consortium includes Dong Energy, Nass&Wind Offshore, Poweo ENR and WPD Offshore. Alstom will supply its turbines.

The French government has set a target of developing 6000 MW of offshore wind capacity by 2020.